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How to install and configure a Dell Printer using the Ubuntu Operating System

Summary: This article deals with adding a Inkjet or Laser printer to a Dell PC using the Linux Ubuntu Operating System.

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Article Content


This article provides general information about how you prepare, install, and configure the drivers on a Dell Printer. For PCs using the Ubuntu Operating System.

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Preparing the Drivers
  3. Installing the Drivers
  4. Configuring the Printer




SLN79181_en_US__1icon Note: Dell has only limited Linux support for the printers they ship, driver availability varies from printer to printer. You may be directed to contact Canonical for further Software support. Are you looking for a specific driver or utility that is not commonly available? You may be directed to contact the Ubuntu community forums with the information about your specific printer for further support. I give some general steps in the section below, but this information is used at your own risk.

This article is looking to give general steps that enable you to use some Dell Printers with the Ubuntu Operating System.

While there is limited support for Linux, Dell does not specifically support the Ubuntu operating system with its printers.

That means that some work needs done to prepare older drivers that are supplied by Dell. Older Dell drivers are not set up for Linux Operating Systems.

I go over the install and configuration steps available in Ubuntu for these devices.

If this article does not resolve your issue, we would advise you to take your issue to the Ubuntu Community Forums for more information.

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Preparing the Drivers


The Linux drivers that Dell supplies on the Support site are binary drivers that are packaged in the RPM format. The following steps take you through changing and preparing these binary drivers to work on the Ubuntu Operating System.

  1. Go to the Dell Support Site and enter the service tag of your printer. Alternatively, select your printer type from the list that is supplied on the page:

    1. Go to the Drivers and Downloads option

    2. Change the operating system that is shown to Linux.

    3. Download the RPM package ZIPPED file if one is listed. (If there is no package available then go to the next section and check out the guide for Generic Drivers.)

  2. Find the particular RPM file that you need to proceed:

    1. UNZIP/Unpack the file into its several component items.

    2. Locate the file that you need. It is in the format Linux/Dell-your printer type-version number.i686.rpm

    3. Install the necessary packages to run this file:

      sudo apt-get install lib32z1 lib32ncurses5 lib32bz2-1.0 rpm2cpio libcups2:i386 libcupsimage2:i386 libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386 libstdc++6:i386

The next section will take you through installing the driver, and making sure it has the right permissions.

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Installing the Drivers


Using the Dell RPM package

Having extracted the file in the section above, its now time to install the driver on your system:

  1. Unpack the RPM package using the following command:

    rpm2cpio your filename.rpm | cpio --extract --make-directories

  2. Ensure that the files have the correct permissions:

    sudo chown -R root:root usr

  3. Copy them to the right partition:

    sudo cp -r usr /

  4. Restart cups, the print service:

    sudo service cups restart

  5. Go to the next section to configure your printer.

Using the Ubuntu PCL6 Generic Driver

If there is not an RPM package available for your particular printer, use one of the Generic open-source drivers available through Ubuntu.

The PCL generic driver has several different versions available on Ubuntu. The different versions refer to the printing command languages that each of the printers use. (i.e. how the system talks to the printer.)

The most common are:


This is Postscript and is often the preferred option if compatible.


This is PCL-XL or PCL 6(Enhanced)


This is the latest of several revisions. (Going from PCL 1 through PCL 5c to PCL 6.)

If you cannot find this information in your Printers User Guide, use the Ubuntu community forums. (Remember they need the Printer type and specification along with which revision of Ubuntu you are using.)

The installation and configuration of the printer using the GUI (Graphical User Interface) are pretty much identical at this point.

If you know the name of the generic package you want to install, you can go ahead and install it using Terminal commands. However, I'd recommend following the steps in the next section.

SLN79181_en_US__2icon Note: Please be aware that AIO (All in One) Printers require you to install scanner support and the printer driver.

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Configuring the Printer


Configuring a Physically connected Printer

There is an existing guide to configuring a physically connected printer using the Ubuntu GUI. (The article deals specifically for a Laser Printer, however, the steps are the same for many others including inkjets.)

Configuring a Network connected Printer

SLN79181_en_US__2icon Note: These guides only deal with printers and systems on the same network. If you want to allow printing on other networks, then you would need to modify the cupsd.conf file on the server. We will NOT be going into that here.

There are several ways that you can configure a network printer on Ubuntu. I go over the most common below:

  1. Using the Desktop GUI:

    1. Click the Printer Icon in System Settings.

    2. Click Add in the configuration window that opens.

    3. The New Printer window opens and searches for a connected printer.

    4. Select Network Printer from the Select Device box and make your choice from those onscreen:

      1. If the printer is hosted on a Windows Network, choose the option Windows Printer via SAMBA and follow the onscreen directions.

      2. If the printer is hosted on a Linux Network or is physically connected to another Ubuntu system serving as a Print Server. Select the CUPS(Common UNIX Printing System) ipp:// (Internet Printing Protocol) option and follow the on-screen directions.

      3. If the printer is a WiFi Printer, then look for the Printer Name under the drop-down menu Network Printer. If you do not see the printer name that is listed, select Find Network Printer and enter the IP address of the printer. Follow the on-screen directions.

  2. Using the Terminal (CTRL + ALT + T):

    1. There are a couple of methods for finding the Printer Name/IP address:

      1. You can log in to the print server and run the lpstat command.

      2. You can browse the servers printers page. (i.e. https://server ip address:631/Printers)

    2. Start the configuration using the command:

      sudo system-config-printer

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Additional Information:


SLN79181_en_US__2icon Note:

Software support is provided by Canonical through the following methods:

Technical Support is provided by Dell:

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Article Properties

Last Published Date

16 Apr 2021



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